Hunting a Low Crow's Foot

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Hunting a Low Crow's Foot

Unread postby Drenalin » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:00 am

I am map scouting an area where several fingers and drainage dump off into a relatively small area. Here's a snip of a similar area:


In this example, the top of the map is north and the prevailing wind is southwest. This area is monotonous hardwoods, but I would expect to find laurel and rhododendron in the drainages/bottoms. There will be oaks on the ridges and fingers pretty consistently with deer not needing to move far to find food, but I would anticipate them possibly dropping into this bottom to either (1) access water, especially early season, or (2) scent check the area as thermal begin to fall. So I have two questions:

First, it seems to me that if I were positioned near the fork in the creek (or 80 yards due south) in this example, and placed similarly in other locations like this, that I could expect to see pretty good deer movement late. Is that generally a true or false assumption in your experience with these "low crow's feet?"

Secondly, if I were going to hunt a location like this, what would the ideal wind conditions be? In general, when you're hunting a low lying area like this, are you looking for calm winds or higher, steadier winds? My expectation would be that I'd need a pretty stiff and steady wind to pull this off to help combat thermals and the general swirling effect in these types of low spots.

Anybody have success in similar areas? Hunting low or hunting high?
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Re: Hunting a Low Crow's Foot

Unread postby Uncle Lou » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:58 pm

This one is over my head. Looks tough to hunt, might be a one and done situation. Bigburner or dan, or others might be able to give more.

All I will add is, I would never be afraid to hunt it if you think there is something worth it in there. What's the worse thing that could happen, learn something, or better?
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Re: Hunting a Low Crow's Foot

Unread postby Motivated » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:20 am

I got in some new parcels of public land this last weekend which had a great thermal hub on it. I walked all of the S,W,E ridges that dumped into it. Ran out of time and water. Not all of the ridges were equal.

The hub I explored drains northward as well. The best sign was on the East most ridge that was pointing from south to North, just inside the Y of your map on the SE branch of that creek. That ridge was a little wider and forked a little at the end so there were two well-used beds within 20 yards of each other. It was also much thicker with a higher stem count. That was the only place I found deer poop. It's a low-density area. I think you're going to have to walk it to find out which ones are thick or have cover.

I also found I a really heavy trail coming from one of those points. It was the eastmost ridge dumping down into the thermal hub. That ridge was very open and I think it was just leading to the nearest ag food source which is three-quarters of a mile away. Likely a decent rail to cover with a trail camera just for inventory and likely a rut cruising trial. The creek that ends up being formed by this hub runs east to west and I think they just cruise that creek and just jump right up that ridge pointing in the same direction.

I imagine yours is different than mine considering I'm about 2,000 feet less in elevation in yours.

Another good factor that influenced the the movement and sign I found where the old Logging roads that were going around that hub. Keep those in mind. Sometimes they provide more cover.

THP had a couple of rut hunts focused on thermal hubs, and I think Aaron shot a good buck the second year there. Here's a link to one of those.

JoeRE did a segment in the Hill Country DVD that might be worth watching again as well to give you some ideas.

Best of luck.
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Re: Hunting a Low Crow's Foot

Unread postby justdirtyfun » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:02 am

We all interpret layouts in our own way to an extent.
I would consider going for this location right before rut goes crazy ,with the whole day available. I would hold back on the bottom hub until seeing good movement down there.
My initial stand would be somewhere on the bench below the 3000 mark to the left of screen. The SW wind might be more consistent there with good chance for action.
This is just a sample map if I read your post right.
Something else that helps minimize issues is have a ravine taking your scent away and also using it for your approach. Burn the least amount of real estate.
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